It is now two days after my second cataract surgery was performed. Now that things have begun to settle with my second eye I am happy with the results. Above you can see me stitching with an arrangement I devised. No, you are not seeing double. I am wearing two sets of glasses, and channeling my inner Ben Franklin. The bottom glasses are a set of drug store reading glasses that my husband bought a while back. He does not remember the strength of these glasses. Though I am holding the work at a distance for the sake of the photo, I actually stitch with my work about six inches from my eyes. The reading glasses allow me to thread a needle, and to do fine hand stitches because I can bring the work close enough to see detail. Unfortunately, my corrected near vision focuses much farther away than my preferred sewing distance. It is a distance appropriate for reading, but not sewing.

The fact that I am going to need glasses for stitching made me initially question my choice to correct for near vision. I’m going to need to have a pair of progressive glasses made with a strong reading prescription along with my distance prescription just so I can stitch and watch TV. If I had corrected for far vision I could simply look over a standard set of drugstore readers while stitching and watching TV.

I do, however, really enjoy being able to read and use my iPad without glasses, so I guess I will just work around the stitching problem. It is important for me to be thankful for the good things that came out of my surgery. My color perception is improved. I can read comfortably. I have more light coming into enlarged pupils of both eyes. My whole world is brighter. While I had little interest in seeing at a blurry distance I now put my glasses on more often because they help me see even though they are not really the right prescription yet.

Reading glasses are helping for now with stitching. However, even with the reading glasses threading a needle requires real effort, and is a bit hit or miss. It takes me three or four times as long to thread a needle now than when I had cataracts in both eyes because then both eyes were focusing very close to my eyes. My needle threading skill might improve as my left eye catches up with my right eye, however. I certainly hope so.

I am considering purchasing a special set of glasses from Craft Optics. I observed a friend using a set of these telescopic glasses at a quilt retreat, but she was using them for machine sewing. These glasses are like those worn by surgeons. If you have watched Grey’s Anatomy you’ve seen them used, especially by the brain surgeons. I wonder if my doctor was using them during my cataract surgery.

I’ll do a follow up post in a couple months after I have all of my sewing solutions in place.